AAP works to boost indies' market power

Ownership has its privileges. Consider American Associated Pharmacies. Independent pharmacy owners who join this member-owned, national cooperative gain access to the purchasing, merchandising, distribution, managed-care contracting and back-end business services that help them compete locally on a more equal footing with their chain counterparts.

AAP was born in September 2009 out of the merger of two premier pharmacy buying and store-support organizations. From the combination of Phoenix-based United Drugs and Scottsboro, Ala.-based Associated Pharmacies, or API, emerged a national network of independent drug stores with a common purchasing and distribution platform and increased clout with vendors and managed care plans.

Among the services AAP provides:

  • AAP Elite, a suite of services to help members leverage a common dispensing and discount purchasing system;
  • Scan & Toss, a central order and replenishment system that assures pharmacies beneficial pricing terms from vendors;
  • ClaimGUARD, which focuses on underpaid claims and pharmacy reimbursements from payers on behalf of members; and
  • StaffGUARD, a new program to help pharmacies comply with federal mandates regarding the hiring and workload of federally sanctioned persons.

"We'll continue to … grow member services," AAP president and CEO Jon Copeland told DSN. "For starters, we are refreshing and expanding our information technology and human resources infrastructure. Additionally, we're assessing … [a] new specialty pharmacy services offering, and we're upgrading our marketing services capabilities."

AAP recently added another pharmacist staff position in charge of pharmacy program development. The company also purchased and modernized a second distribution center in Memphis, Tenn., more than doubling its distribution capacity and delivering more efficient and improved service to its Mountain and Pacific time zone members.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In the April 22 issue, AAP was inadvertantly omitted from the DSN Annual PoweRx Top 50 retail pharmacy rankings. DSN has recalculated the top 20 to show AAP's true rank at No. 9. DSN regrets the error.

FOOTNOTES FOR POWERx PLAYERS TOP 20

  1. Includes only retail pharmacies and specialty pharmacies
  2. Includes pharmacy services segment revenue of $73.4 billion, total retail sales of $63.7 billion
  3. Retail stores
  4. FY2013
  5. Includes 3,158 supercenters, 561 discount stores, 267 supermarkets and 19 small format stores
  6. Excludes the Medicine Shoppe/Medicap stores
  7. Reflecting sale or closing of 25 Genuardi's supermarkets in eastern United States in fall 2012, closing of additional 21 units in fiscal 2012 and opening of nine new Lifestyle stores
  8. For fiscal 2012, ended Feb. 2, 2013

Comments

Any pharmacy buying group

Any pharmacy buying group that's helping Independent Pharmacy businesses to grow is a good entity. We need more advocacy for privately owned pharmacies. We need more support for community pharmacies to thrive. In addition to typical "buying group advantages" I want to challenge all the 12 major buying groups within the country to do more. Independents are under tremendous pressures to succeed and I know the business model of pharmacy buying groups. As a pharmacy buying group president - I want to encourage Jon Copeland & the AAP team to do more for his members. Think creatively, push to uncomfortable limits, and create new wealth for your customers. Our pharmacy buying group PharmacyGPO, Inc., is tiny in comparison to EPIC, AAP, APCI, PBA Health, Lone Star, and several others - but size doesn't matter. It's our common mission that matters. It's time we do more to ensure the survival of Independent Pharmacy businesses. I'm challenging these groups to stretch. Create wealth for your members. We will work to challenge other buying groups to to hopefully help them become even better solutions providers for the ultimate success of Independent Pharmacies throughout the country - to compete better against the national chains and the obstacles of the BIG-PBMs.

Congrats AAP!

Congrats AAP!